SINGAPORE — Singapore witnessed a notable surge in COVID-19 infections during the week of 17 to 23 September, with a total of 14,843 confirmed cases.
This was more than double the 6,401 cases reported the previous week. Over the past 10 weeks - between 9 July and 16 September - weekly infection counts fluctuated between 3,485 and 7,045 cases.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on its website that it is closely monitoring the situation and that the current infection numbers is "low compared to previous waves".
As Singapore no longer mandates reporting COVID-19 cases, the numbers primarily reflect individuals who sought medical care.
COVID-19 hospitalisations and ICU admissions
MOH also stated on its website that the average daily new COVID-19 hospitalisations and average daily new ICU cases have also remained low in recent weeks.
Earlier this year, a peak of 28,410 infections in a week at the end of March led to a slight increase in hospitalisations and ICU admissions.
During that period, 159 people were hospitalised, which slightly exceeded the 139 hospitalisations from the previous week, and seven required admission to intensive care, up from six the previous week.
April and May also witnessed the highest number of COVID-19 deaths this year, with 54 and 53 deaths respectively.
Based on the latest COVID-19 death figures on MOH website, 10 individuals, all aged at least 60 years old, succumbed to COVID-19 in August.
MOH attributed the recent increase in cases to various factors, including waning population immunity, rise of other emerging variants, and increased travel and community interactions, resulting in virus transmission.
The ministry urged residents to maintain personal hygiene and keep up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including a booster dose around one year after their last booster dose for those aged 60 years and above, medically vulnerable persons, and residents of aged care facilities."
Singapore prepares for monovalent vaccine
Towards the end of October, Singapore expects to receive the new monovalent vaccine targeted at the Omicron sub-variants, where the booster shots remain free for residents.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung cautioned in a Facebook post on 15 September that "the virus has not gotten milder; it is we who have gotten stronger, through vaccinations and safe recovery from infections."
He expressed concern over declining vaccine take-up rates and urged people in Singapore, especially seniors, to get the vaccine once a year.
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